So how does the US Military achieve its criteria of being the most powerful?
Certainly not due to the large numbers, because it belongs to China, a country with 2.19 million active soldiers; while the US has only 1.4 million (equivalent to 63.92%). The answer lies in America’s superior technology.
The US defense budget accounts for 4.4% of GDP, with a whopping $686 billion spent on weapons, tanks, warships, aircraft and any other military equipment each year. The United States is now a country that can produce most of the weapons for its military. The US defense budget has continuously increased over the presidents. If 2019 is $686 billion, 2020 is $750 billion, and it’s likely we will see a further increase in 2021.
While number of soldiers is an important indicator of military strength, what really takes the US Military to the next level is its air superiority and naval might. The US military owns nearly 2,100 combat aircraft, 967 armed helicopters, more than 900 transport aircraft and specialized aircraft. Many fighters and bombers are exclusive to the US Army.
Notable aircraft of the US Air Force are B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters; F-22 air superiority fighter. UAVs are also a strength for the United States, and they are increasingly popular for attacking high-value targets.
Not only in the air, the US Navy has also dominated the oceans since the end of World War Two. Currently the US Navy has 11 aircraft carriers and 91 guided missile destroyers, equipped with the Aegis combat system. In a global conflict, carriers are an important part of maintaining combat power.
11 ships may not seem like a huge number, but it is five times the amount of China, and China has not had the resources to fill its gap. And yet, an American aircraft carrier is capable of carrying between 85 and 110 warplanes, twice the number of Chinese carriers (between 30 and 45).